Characteristics and management of household solid waste in urban areas in Ghana: the case of WA

Isaac Monney, Benjamin Makimula Tiimub, Henry Chendire Bagah


This paper presents the characteristics (composition, bulk density and generation rate) of household solid waste and waste management practices in Wa; an urban community in Ghana. The study approach involved an assessment of the physical characteristics approximately 2.3tons of solid waste generated by 15 households in the study area over a 30-day period. Structured questionnaires were administered to residents, the Waste Management Department and the only private waste management company in Wa. The results indicate that the waste generation rate for the Wa is 0.68±0.24kg/cap/day with the average bulk density of 44.9±28 kg/m3. Household solid waste is dominated by organic waste (48%) and inert materials (33%). Plastics/rubber and metals make up an average proportion of 5% each whiles textiles/fabric, paper/cardboard and miscellaneous constitute 4%, 3% and 2% respectively. The characteristics of the solid waste management system include disparities in waste collection services, lack of waste recovery mechanisms, disposal of comingled waste and lack of regulation and monitoring of the private waste collection company. The study identifies that, waste recovery can reduce to almost a third of the amount of household solid waste that end up at the landfill. The study recommends the pay-as-you-dump method as a cost recovery mechanism to offset waste collection costs.

Keywords: characteristics, household, solid waste, management, Wa

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5790 ISSN (Online)2225-0514

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